- Poll shows more than half of public still blame government for junior doctors’ strike
- Growing proportion blame government and BMA equally
- Emergency care walkout less damaging to public opinion than previously indicated
The majority of the public still think responsibility for the junior doctors’ strike rests with the government – but a growing proportion blame both sides equally, a poll shows.
The research carried out by Ipsos Mori for the BBC showed 57% of the public supported the junior doctors, led by the British Medical Association, and a quarter opposed them.
Meanwhile, 35% of respondents blamed both sides equally for the strike going ahead, up from 28% in March and 18% in February.
The 57% figure is lower than the level of support for earlier industrial action, which sat at around two-thirds, although the earlier strikes did not include emergency care.
However, public support for a walkout including emergency care is now higher than it was in January, when only 44% supported it.
The survey of 861 adults in England found no difference in result if the public were asked whether they “would support the strike if emergency care from other staff was available”, and if they “would support the strike if emergency care from consultants was available”.
Head of health research at Ipsos Mori Anna Quigley said: “We’re seeing today that support for the junior doctors is still prevalent among much of the public, even when emergency care is withheld.
”Support is not as high as when we were polling for the strikes where emergency care was provided, as we suggested might happen in January,” she said, adding: ”However, the erosion of public support has not been as stark as the January polling suggested, and the public still have some patience left for the junior doctors’ cause.”